Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he as given us.
I am the first to admit that I have a hard time understanding how to rejoice in my sufferings. I realize this concept is repeated throughout the scriptures, but I have never been able to wrap my head around it. Tonight at work I witnessed first hand what it looks like to rejoice in your sufferings. It affected me to the core and opened my eyes.
There is a woman that comes in to my work fairly often and she is one of those people that everyone loves. She has a southern charm and a exuberant personality. Her kindness spills out to all those around her and her genuine love for people fills the space. I honestly wish I could be her friend.
A few months ago when I was serving her table, we struck up a conversation about God. It turns out this beautiful woman is completely sold out for Jesus. It only made me love her more.
Tonight she came in with some of her family. I will be perfectly honest right now… As the seater was arranging my table for my next party and I was told is was a large wheel chair that would block one of my aisles, I was instantly annoyed. It was not the first time my aisles had been blocked this evening. I managed to reign in my impending attitude, and focus on making the customer happy. As I walked away I was prepared to vent to the other server, when I heard my favorite customer. I turned around to see her smiling her big gorgeous smile as she greeted me and moved over to her table. The wheelchair was enormous because the young woman who was laying in it could not sit up all the way. She reclined in the chair because she was immobile. I do not know what her physical ailments were but I know she was deaf, and non-verbal, and immobile. Throughout the course of the evening I discovered that this young woman was my favorite customer’s daughter. I had no idea of the trial and suffering that she had faced in her life. As a mother myself, I cannot imagine the anguish she has suffered over the years. And yet, this woman emanated the Joy of the Lord to an infectious degree. I am in awe of her strength and her faith.
She personified the above scripture as well as James 1:2-4. I have never underestimated a person more in my life than I did this woman. Judging from her happy personality she didn’t have a care in the world. Or so I thought. How wrong I was!
Have you ever known someone who remained joyful regardless of what life was throwing at them?
Day 60 brings a shift in my spirit. I feel as if the final third of this fast is going to be filled with revelation and advancement and discovery. I am looking forward to what God will reveal to me over the next 30 days.
Today I made some salad, some pasta salad, and roasted veggies. Nothing exciting but I wanted to use up the veggies in the refrigerator before they went bad. As I was snapping the green beans, my cat was intently watching me. When I got to a green bean that was bad, I tossed it onto the counter to throw away later. My cat promptly picked it up with his paw and because playing with it. He tossed it all around the dining room. I was annoyed at first, but then I realized how cute he was and I couldn’t resist his sweet face.
I am heading to bed now. I have to work a double tomorrow and that is a LONG day.
This is Day 60 saying we are 2/3 the way there!